Articles Posted in Infectious Disease

A Texas state appellate court has held that a plaintiff expert’s report was adequate in a case brought by the parents whose child died after receiving inadequate treatment for a respiratory infection. Luz Del Carmen Rodriguez and Victor Velazquez took their infant son to the office of a pediatrician, Dr. Satbir Chhina.

A nurse practitioner diagnosed the baby as having respiratory syncytial virus and prescribed Tylenol and nebulizer treatments. Dr. Chhina later signed off on the treatment plan that was presented to him by the nurse practitioner. However, the next day, the baby became unresponsive. He was transferred to a hospital, where he died of cardio-pulmonary arrest. An autopsy revealed that the child’s death resulted from sepsis originating from a bacterial infection.

Rodriguez and Velazquez sued Dr. Chhina and the nurse practitioner, alleging medical negligence. The plaintiffs offered the expert report of Dr. Armando Correa, a board-certified pediatrician who specialized in pediatric infectious disease.
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Ms. Doe, age 43, was hospitalized and treated for sepsis after she underwent laparoscopic surgery. Shortly after her release from the hospital, Ms. Doe experienced severe shortness of breath, tachycardia and lower back pain.

Ms. Doe met twice with Dr. Roe, an infectious disease specialist, who ordered a chest X-ray, which he deemed to be reassuring.

The same week, Ms. Doe suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism. She had been an office manager earning approximately $62,000 per year and is survived by her husband and a minor son.
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A $1.53 million jury verdict was entered following the jury trial of 50-year-old Joseph Miller. Miller was referred to Bay Area Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for evaluation of a bone spur in his right heel. Dr. Vivek Sood, an orthopedic surgeon, removed the bone spur and also did an Achilles tendon reattachment.

After the surgery, Miller suffered a deep wound infection in his right foot. The infection required seven additional surgeries and extensive medical care.

Miller lost a portion of his foot because of the wound infection. He was a laborer and remained out of work for approximately three months. His lost income was more than $19,600.
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Joan Simmons, 58, was experiencing acute back pain. She went to the emergency room at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital. She was treated and released. Her back pain continued.

Eight days after the back pain started, she returned to the hospital complaining of an altered mental status. Testing revealed a blood stream infection.

An infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sarah Barbour, examined Simmons, who then began to experience progressive leg weakness.

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Russell Kazda, 50, developed a splinter wound in his right pinky finger. A hand specialist, Dr. James Schlenker, performed a surgical procedure to remove the splinter. In doing so, Dr. Schlenker opened Kazda’s palm to examine his tendon. About a week after this procedure, Kazda returned to Dr. Schlenker and was diagnosed as having an infection in that finger, which required debridements and skin grafting. Kazda now has significant disfigurement on his ring and pinky fingers resulting from that infection, which spread to the rest of his hand.

Kazda filed a lawsuit against Dr. Schlenker and his practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., maintaining that the doctor chose not to diagnose the infection and correctly prescribe IV antibiotics.

The lawsuit claimed that the infection, pyogenic flexor tenosynovitis, was already present before Dr. Schlenker performed the procedure to remove the splinter. The lawsuit also asserted that the follow-up appointment with Dr. Schlenker should have been scheduled for the day after the surgery, which would have prevented the infection from spreading to the rest of Kazda’s hand.
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James Woodard was 64 years old and underwent the first of a two-part elective back surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital. While Woodard was hospitalized, he was unknowingly exposed to MRSA, an infectious process that is hard to eradicate and usually contracted in hospitals.

One month after the first surgical procedure, Woodard underwent pre-operative procedures at the same hospital in anticipation of the second portion of his back surgery. After his second surgery, a nasal swab was positive for MRSA. Blood cultures returned two weeks later confirmed this finding. Woodard developed spinal osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and had numerous treatments, including surgeries, antibiotics and debridement to try remove the infection. Woodard required 135 days of hospital care and treatment at a rehabilitation facility.

He still requires medical care and now requires a wheelchair because of his condition. Woodard had been a city employee who planned to retire in just a few years.
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Aaron Riedel, who was 28 at the time, went to Lodi Community Hospital emergency room complaining of back pain. He told the emergency department staff that he was taking an antibiotic to treat a MRSA infection. Riedel was later discharged from Lodi Community Hospital with a diagnosis of simple muscle strain.

The next day, he returned to the emergency room with worsening back pain. Again, Riedel informed the emergency department staff about the antibiotic he was taking and his MRSA history. The emergency room physician, Dr. Christopher Kalapodis, ordered a CT scan, which ruled out a kidney stone as the cause of the problem.

Riedel was then given a dose of morphine and an anti-inflammatory before he was again discharged. The next day however, he required additional treatment in the emergency room where he was diagnosed as having a spinal epidural abscess. Despite efforts through surgery and rehabilitation, Riedel was left a paraplegic.
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Deborah Larkin, 42, underwent laparoscopic surgery. Over the next two days she complained of severe pain even with the use of medication. Larkin also developed tachycardia, low sodium levels, hypotension and an abnormally high white blood cell count.

A kidney physician, a nephrologist, diagnosed sepsis prompting the surgeon to order a swallow study which did not show any internal leakage. However, the laboratory results did show decreased CO2 and increased lactate levels.

Larkin’s conditioned worsened. She was transferred to intensive care the next day in respiratory distress with kidney failure. The surgeon performed exploratory surgery, which revealed that a 4-millimeter gastric leak was the cause of Larkin’s septic shock.
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Ana Pereira, 29, was admitted to Monmouth Medical Center where she was diagnosed as having a kidney stone and renal colic. Her condition continued to deteriorate. Blood cultures were positive for bacterial growth by noon of the next day. Pereira underwent a successful procedure to drain her kidney after one failed attempt. However, she developed sepsis.

As a result of the sepsis, Pereira fell into a coma for 5 days and suffered a loss of peripheral circulation. Because of the lack of circulation, bilateral leg amputations and the removal of her left hand at the wrist were necessary.

Pereira sued four physicians who treated her at the medical center alleging negligent treatment of the kidney stone. She also alleged that an on-call urologist chose not to timely report to the hospital when the facility notified his employer of her condition. Pereira claimed that the employer of the urologist had contracted to handle emergency calls from the hospital despite the one-hour driving distance between the practice and the hospital, which precluded a medically acceptable response time.
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Annabelle Glasgow, who was 71 years old, suffered from diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure. She was admitted to Temple University Hospital to undergo bilateral total knee replacements to be done by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Easwaran Balasubramanian. She developed pain at the incision site, swelling and drainage. In spite of these conditions, she was discharged from the hospital within 3 weeks after the bilateral total knee replacements.

After a follow-up appointment with Dr. Balasubramanian, she underwent an irrigation and debridement of her right knee. The cultures taken from that procedure revealed that she had a bacterial infection. She continued to have excessive drainage in the right knee and developed a pressure ulcer on her right heel.

The pressure sore required another hospitalization and several procedures, which included skin grafting, incision and drainage to address her wound.
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